SEPTEMBER 24, 2012

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Print Holds Among the Affluent
Ipsos released the latest wave of findings from its Mendelsohn Affluent Survey last week and reported that print publications are maintaining their audience among the Affluent (HHI $100K+) and Ultra Affluent (HHI $250K+). The survey found that 82% of America's 59 million Affluents read at least one magazine. The average Affluent read 18.7 issues across an average of 8.2 titles. Magazine readership is even more important among the Ultra-Affluent (HHI $250K+). The Ultra Affluent consumed approximately 25% more print media -- 23.5 issues across 10 titles.
So what? This release from Ipsos reaffirms print's central role in the lives of affluents. The medium remains important to them, and is one of the most efficient ways for marketers to reach higher wealth individuals. The updated survey findings meant good news for a number of magazines, including Condé Nast Traveler which had its affluent readership grow by 19% over last year.
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Retail in 2020
A new paper from the Boston Consulting examines the major transformation retail has experienced in the past few years and speculates as to what its future might look like. The BCG argues that legacy retailers control their own future if they are willing to address four challenges: - As consumers become more informed and empowered, how will you attract business and build loyalty? - How will you reach shoppers across the numerous touch points? - How will your real estate needs change in the future as more business is conducted online? - Will your supply chain maintain flexibility and be able to respond to future efficiencies?
So what? This a useful read for anyone with clients in the retail category. Innovation and technology are forcing them to change their business plans and priorities continuously. Condé Nast might offer these retail partners an opportunity to be out in front of some of the changes, especially when it comes to information seeking among consumers and digital sales.
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Digital's Role in Path to Purchase
A survey of consumer behavior by Forrester found that 82% of US online adults who have recently purchased a product researched it before doing so. The majority of these consumers used digital tools to conduct their research. Among the research resources covered in the Forrester survey, six of the top seven most used resources were digital. However, while consumers go online to research their purchases, they are still more likely to make the transaction in a traditional store. Consumers said they are more likely to purchase products or services in the near future in a brick-and-mortar store (67%) than they are online on a computer (58%), tablet (14%) or smartphone (11%). Mobile's appeal as a research tool show's limited reach thus far. Just 7% of digital researchers use their smartphone and 4% use a tablet to research a purchase.
So what? Digital has firmly entrenched itself in path to purchase for both offline and online transactions. The opportunity for Condé Nast will lie in its ability to own a piece of that digital pie. Google and Amazon own the largest shares currently, but search optimization that lands researchers on the pages of CN sites might prove to be an efficient way in. More ambitiously, we might try to further facilitate the use of mobile devices for product research.
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Jewelry and Watch Sales Continue to Rise
Watch and jewelry sales are back above pre-recession levels and are estimated to hit $71.5 billion in sales in the US this year. According to Mintel, this growth is expected to continue with sales reaching nearly $81 billion by 2017. The growth is largely driven by the affluent audience with people with a HHI $150k or higher spending the most on watches and fine jewelry. Some other category dynamics are driven by changes in marriage patterns. Fewer people are getting married which means fewer engagement rings/wedding and anniversary presents. At the same time, more gay people are getting married so this may be an emerging target market for the advertisers.
So what? This report provides a hefty overview on the jewelry and watch category. It’s a must-read for all marketers that pursue this category.
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Quick Takes
Kantar Retail: Consumers Expect to Shop More This Year Over December Holidays
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Samsung Owns More than One-Quarter of Worldwide Flat Panel Television Market Share
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Apps Dominate Mobile Web in the Travel Category
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India Outpacing the Other BRIC Countries in Web Adoption by New Users
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Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 |

Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights